With this winter being so harsh, I have a way to keep the eye and the techniques sharp……
I have several windows looking out through a porch in to the Smoky Mountains. When winter comes, I create a bird feeding station in front of each window. I observe most of the time, however, occasionally I break out the camera, open the window and shoot from inside a nice warm environment. While the birds line up in the hemlock tree to be next at the feeder, I shoot them in a simple non chaotic environment.
I have many birds coming to my feeders. I have those that eat from the ground. They include the juncos, the white throated sparrow, the mourning dove, lots of goldfinches in various forms of winter garb, nuthatches, and an occasional cardinal, and a pair of crows.
Those that eat from the feeder itself and rake out seeds to the ground feeders are cardinals, titmice, chickadees, nuthatches, goldfinches, and three species of woodpeckers (downy, hairy, and red bellied), and a yellow bellied sapsucker.
Occasionally I get furry critters to indulge their free loading appetites to come to my porch. I have images of a chipmunk with very fat cheeks looking at me. I get daily visits from the squirrels which I shoot in the trees as they check things out. I see an occasional Deer mouse run across the deck of the porch as well.
Then I have my night time critters that check things out. I have several raccoons, and a pair of possums that come by each night, and occasionally a hungry black bear.
Elsewhere on my property I have taken images of wild hogs, deer, turkey, and once a bobcat. These were taken in the fall
So one can see that with very little investment, one can continue to shoot in the icy cold we are now enduring. I never leave from in front of my fire place which my living room becomes my blind and still take great bird images. A glass of eggnog and a slice of fruit cake, it does not get any better than that. Several favorites……food, drink, and pastime.